I feel like digital privacy isn't as important anymore

You read it right. Over the past few months I have created dozens of new accounts on many social media platforms. I have also become more addicted to social media and my phone in general.

One of the reasons behind this is that my friends and relatives use these platforms.

How should I go about caring for and protecting my privacy? Why should I care?

I mean you’re already on a pretty niche privacy forum so I’d say you already care, there’s no practical benefits to be gained here if you don’t find all the tracking off-putting, I guess let them track you. Usually privacy = less convenience. I guess the most salient thing I’d say is listen to other people who’ve gone through things where their privacy or lack thereof either helped or really hurt them, you don’t need it until you do and it’s not an easy switch to flip on.

As for how, just segregate the accounts as much as possible, use unique emails for every account, unique phone numbers if you have to provide them. Private payments where possible, spectrum from Monero to Privacy.com for the places that only want fiat with no gift cards.

Strip tracking data out of links, there are automation that can do this too if you find it too tedious to manually do it. Amazon is particuarly egregious since they give you a shortened link you have to first expand then strip down and re-copy.

There’s a huge variance in levels of privacy, maybe for you stopping cross-app social media tracking has little benefits for all the effort but protecting your phone number/physical address strikes a better balance of effort to benefit. It’s a personal calculation.

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Thank you for this great answer! This is really good information.

To the switch on part, I have already used a Keepass local file for the past 2 years, deleted all my Google accounts (which has brought me some troubkes :sweat_smile:), used GrapheneOS on a Pixel 4a for almost 6 months (phone broke).

So I would say I’m familiar with the privacy world a bit.

Good question! I posted a very similar reddit thread a few weeks ago, with the main focus on the actual real world chances of any meaningful consequences on an average Joe’s life. Here are the takeaways I collected with the help of some comments I got…I realized that I’ll keep on being mindful of my digital privacy for these reasons:

  • If I don’t have to, why should I let data collection happen on me. It’s my data afterall, and that alone is enough of a reason to protect it.

  • I feel morally obligated to do my part of making the world a tiny bit better.

  • Things can change in the future, and big tech having less data on someone may or may not benefit you in 10-20-30 years from now…

On another note, I don’t take things to the extremes…I still use macOS and iOS, I use some of the less privacy-friendly platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, but I also do my best wherever I can to use open source alternatives. Signal is my main messenger, OnlyOffice instead of MS Office, RustDesk instead of Teamviewer, Firefox instead of Chromium, etc…

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This is the main thing I was going to say. Based on your lack of Google usage, using Keepass, and the like, maybe you have to rethink your threat model. Maybe it doesn’t need to be as advanced as it currently is and you can relax it a bit.

Look for a way to use social media more to your liking without giving away more information than you need to. Maybe settle for a really locked down Instagram account, for example, rather than not having it entirely.

You don’t have to be a slave to the most extreme solutions in search of perfect privacy. It’s a blurry spectrum we’re working in, and there’s more to fighting for privacy than being 100% private. You don’t have to push yourself to exhaustion.

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Thanks for the reply!

I have been trying to be 100% private all the time now that I think about it. I always believed that that was the end goal and that there was only one way of going about digital privacy: to maximize it.

One reason why I even got into the privacy world is social media, especially Youtube. I have always been a very techy person. My first computer was an old Lenovo Thinkpad running Ubuntu Gnu/Linux on it. The first programming language I learned was Python. So when I started watching Youtube, most of the recommendations were technology, security, and of course, privacy related.

I don’t know how familiar you are with how social media platforms show you content, but form my experience what they do is they show you something they think will keep you on the platform, it’s essentially guessing. So when I was scrolling through their recommendations, I started clicking on privacy and security related videos, because I felt curious about the topic. Youtube caught onto it, and started showing me similar videos. I fell into a rabbit hole that I’m glad I fell into.

Now while reading your comment it became clear to me that I wanted too much from myself. I started deleting all these accounts and felt glad about it, but over a couple of years I have begun to care less and less, and it might truly be because of burn out.

I will now start reevaluating my privacy goals. Thanks for the advice everyone!

Sorry if I miss the point of the question, but I wanted to remind that privacy is not just one solution that is give up everything and go to live in the woods (obviously exaggerated :laughing: )
Everyone has their own way to circumvent the need for privacy, so I should say that you stick with that.

You are not a “worse” privacy person just because you use things like Instagram, Facebook or Whatsapp (literally all Facebook :rofl:). You are just a different person with different needs.
Considering that, then you configure as much as you can/want the respective social media or service to respect you privacy.

In my case I still have Whatsapp even though some relatives moved to Signal because is the only way I can communicate with some of them and for my professional life. I really want to delete Whatsapp? Yes, if I do it I will lose contact with most of my family? Yes. So what is more important?

Sorry again if I miss the point, but I wanted to share some of my situation, as it may be helpful to your situation.

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Thanks for expressing your take on this. And yes I think it’s very wise to not go overboard with all the privacy related tools and apps.